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The Seriousness of Being Funny w/ Tom Shadyac (Rebroadcast)

The Road to Now

Release Date: 09/30/2019

#181 More Questions than Answers show art #181 More Questions than Answers

The Road to Now

2020 has been “eventful” so Bob & Ben decided to take an episode to sit back and cover what’s been happening lately and answer questions from our Patrons. We discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the state of politics in the US and major developments in the 2020 election. Ben also gives a rundown of the recent White House Conference on American History (read his twitter thread here) and what appears to be the agenda behind Trump’s announcement of the 1776 commission to “Promote Patriotic Education.

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#180 The Transformation of American Policing w/ Stuart Schrader show art #180 The Transformation of American Policing w/ Stuart Schrader

The Road to Now

Confrontations between demonstrators and police have led to a national debate about law enforcement. The expanded use of Federal officers & the use of unmarked vehicles to detain citizens are concerning developments, but some scholars have pointed out that these tactics bear striking similarities to the strategies pursued by the US abroad. Ben & guest co-host Alex Galarza speak w/ Stuart Schrader about the ways that US counterinsurgency abroad came to transform American policing.

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#179 The Pursuit of Happiness w/ Ravi Patel show art #179 The Pursuit of Happiness w/ Ravi Patel

The Road to Now

Ravi Patel has been a lot of things– an investment banker, an actor, the co-founder of an organization that benefits undernourished children– but in recent years, he’s set out to find the answers to life’s big questions and to share what he finds with others. In this episode, Ravi joins Bob and Ben for a conversation about family, friends and what he discovered from traveling the world for his new series Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness, which premieres August 24th on HBO MAX.

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#178 The Facebook Catastrophe w/ Roger McNamee show art #178 The Facebook Catastrophe w/ Roger McNamee

The Road to Now

In 2006, Roger McNamee played a crucial role in convincing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg not to sell his company to Yahoo!. Today, Roger is one of the most vocal critics of Facebook and believes the company has become a threat to democracy in the US. Bob and Ben talk with Roger about his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, the role Facebook has played in spreading disinformation, and the steps he believes we should take to regain control over the tech giants of the modern world.

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#177 How the South Won the Civil War w/ Heather Cox Richardson show art #177 How the South Won the Civil War w/ Heather Cox Richardson

The Road to Now

The military engagements of the US Civil War came to an end in 1865, but the ideology of the confederacy was not so easily defeated. We speak with Heather Cox Richardson about her new book How the South Won the Civil War and how the worldview of antebellum southern elites came to be embraced by the “movement conservatives” in today's Republican party. Heather also talks about how she makes history relatable to a general audience & why she is fearful, but optimistic, about the future of democracy in the

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#176 Musical Chairs w/ Joe Kwon show art #176 Musical Chairs w/ Joe Kwon

The Road to Now

Cellist Joe Kwon joins Bob & Ben to talk about his journey from aspiring classical musician to Bob’s bandmate in The Avett Brothers. Joe shares his experiences as a Korean immigrant growing up in NC, why he decided to become a cellist, and where he learned to play standing up. Joe & Bob also discuss how they first met, Joes’ first show w/ the band, and why Joe has such a deep appreciation & passion for cooking and food.

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I Can’t Breathe: Surviving the Dual Pandemics of Racism and Covid-19 w/ Louis Woods show art I Can’t Breathe: Surviving the Dual Pandemics of Racism and Covid-19 w/ Louis Woods

The Road to Now

As Americans grapple with the devastation wrought by the dual pandemics of racism and Covid-19, it is critically important to understand the vast racial disparities Covid-19 has exposed within the African American community (specifically), but communities of color (generally). In this episode, Dr. Louis Woods speaks with experts in multiple fields to examine how the sudden shock of the Covid-19 pandemic has illuminated the centuries-old pandemic of racism in western culture, and particularly in the US.

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#175 The Death of Expertise w/ Tom Nichols show art #175 The Death of Expertise w/ Tom Nichols

The Road to Now

Tom Nichols is University Professor at the Naval War College, where he specializes in international affairs, and a respected commentator on US politics and international security. Bob and Ben speak with Tom about the current state of American politics and his book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, (Oxford University Press, 2017).

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#174 Direction w/ Michael Bonfiglio show art #174 Direction w/ Michael Bonfiglio

The Road to Now

Michael Bonfiglio is an award-winning filmmaker whose work as a director and producer includes May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (2017), the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries You Don’t Know Bo: The Legend of Bo Jackson (2012) and Doc & Darryl (2016), and From the Ashes (2017). Mike joins Ben & Bob to talk about the art of making documentary films, how his work engages with the historical narrative, and how the coronavirus epidemic has changed filmmakers work.

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#173 The South w/ Trae Crowder show art #173 The South w/ Trae Crowder

The Road to Now

Since going viral with his Liberal Redneck videos in 2016, comedian Trae Crowder has become well-known for sharing a perspective that is southern in origin, but not quite what most people expect. In this episode, Trae joins Bob and Ben for a conversation about southern culture, the south’s bizarre embrace of Donald Trump, and how his work helped a lot of southerners with less conservative viewpoints to ‘come out of the closet.

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More Episodes

Tom Shadyac will be our guest for a live recording at TPAC’s Polk Theater as part of the Nashville Comedy Festival on April 18th, 2020! Click here for tickets!

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #34 with an update on Tom's work since we spoke with him in December of 2016.

Tom Shadyac has probably made you laugh. He was the youngest ever staff joke writer for Bob Hope and he directed some of the biggest comedy films in recent memory, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Nutty Professor. A lot of people would say Tom has “made it.” Tom would disagree.

Tom joins Ben and Bob for a conversation about his life and the path that led him to abandon the pursuit of fame and material abundance to focus on helping others. He tells of his 11-year period of unemployment as he struggled to find success in the Los Angeles comedy scene, his relationship with Jim Carrey and how following his own passions led him to take a risk with Ace Ventura. Tom also talks of his approach to teaching film, and explains why he defines success as a state of mind. Other topics of conversation include the LA comedy scene, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Tom’s deep commitment to the people of Memphis.

The Road to Now is part of the Osiris Podcast Network. This rebroadcast was edited by Gary Fletcher.